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The original item was published from 5/28/2020 2:54:10 PM to 6/12/2020 12:00:01 AM.

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Sheriff's Office

Posted on: May 28, 2020

[ARCHIVED] Man Arrested for Stabbing His Dog and Discarding the Injured K9 in a Dumpster


Man Arrested for Stabbing His Dog and Discarding the Injured K9 in a Dumpster 


Spokane County Sheriff’s Deputies, working with Spokane Regional Animal Control Services (SCRAPS), identified a suspect who reportedly stabbed his dog with a knife and threw the injured K9 in a dumpster to die.  Later in the day, with the assistance of the Spokane Police Department, the suspect was arrested and booked into jail for Animal Cruelty 1st Degree, a felony.  


Despite the quick response and best effort of witnesses and a local veterinary hospital, the injuries to the K9 were fatal.  

On May 27, 2020, just before 1:00 p.m., a citizen reported a male stabbed a dog and threw the K9 into a dumpster located in the 3000 block of E. 57th Avenue. 

The witnesses said two males were observed walking with the dog toward a dumpster.  The older male, later identified as 48-year-old Lawrence W. Cirner, appeared to start hitting the dog, Sponge.  Sponge began yelping as the witnesses yelled at Cirner, drawing the attention of additional bystanders.  Cirner threw Sponge into the dumpster and told one of the witnesses, “Ma’am, I’m homeless, and it’s too late. I had to do it. I had to stab him.”

Witnesses began to follow the men but stopped when Cirner held up the knife as he and the second male continued to walk away. 

Deputy Brooke, Deputy Carrillo, and Deputy Bylow searched the area in an attempt to locate the suspect but were unsuccessful.

Two witnesses transported Sponge, who was still alive but severely injured, to a local veterinary hospital for care.  Despite all of their best efforts, Sponge was not able to be saved.   

Through the investigation, Deputy Brooke identified Cirner as the suspect and made several attempts to contact or locate him unsuccessfully. 

After receiving all the information learned during the investigation conducted by Deputy Brooke, SCRAPS Animal Protection Officer Adams continued to try and contact Cirner.  Later in the evening, he made contact with Cirner and learned he was in the 2600 block of E. 29th Avenue. 

Animal Protection Officer Adams requested the Spokane Police Department’s assistance, and Officer Schwering took Cirner into custody without incident. 

Cirner was transported and booked into the Spokane County Jail for one count of Animal Cruelty 1st Degree, a felony. 

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